Last updated on: 5/14/2008 2:00:00 PM PST

What Was the Outcome of the First Arab - Israeli War of 1948?



General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Bernard Lewis, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, in his 1993 book The Arabs in History, wrote:

"At first, it seemed unlikely that the newborn state of Israel would long survive its birth. But within a few weeks, the military situation changed dramatically, and by the time an armistice was negotiated by the United Nations, several important changes had taken place. The Israelis had held, and even improved their ground. The remainder of mandatary Palestine was held by neighboring Arab States -- the Gaza strip by Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Jordan, and a small foothold in the north by Syria. Jerusalem was de facto partitioned between Jordan and Israel, and the plan for a corpus separatum became a dead letter."

1993 - Bernard Lewis, PhD 

Albert Hourani, the late Oxford historian, in his 1991 book titled A History of the Arab Peoples, wrote:

"At the beginning of 1949 a series of armistices was made between Israel and its Arab neighbors under the supervision of the United Nations, and stable frontiers were created. About 75 per cent of Palestine was included within the frontiers of Israel; a strip of land on the southern coast, stretching from Gaza to the Egyptian frontier, was taken under Egyptian administration; the remainder was annexed by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (the name taken by Transjordan in 1946 after a treaty with Britain redefined the relations between the two countries). Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan, although many other countries did not formally recognize the division."

1991 - Albert Hourani 

Mark Tessler, PhD, Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, in his 1994 book titled A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, wrote:

"The 1947-48 war was a watershed event in the history of Palestine's Arabs, as well as its Jews. The war's meaning for the two peoples was completely different, however. With their nationalist aspirations thwarted, the results filled Palestinians with despair, rather than with hope and anticipation. Indeed, Palestinians refer to the defeat of 1947-48 as al-naqba, 'the catastrophe' or 'the disaster'.

To begin with, ceasefire lines in place at the beginning of 1949 left Israel in control of much of the territory that the United Nations had in 1947 allocated for an Arab state in Palestine... [T]he territorial locus of the new Jewish state increased by roughly one-third as a result of the fighting... Israel understandably defended its expansion by recalling that it was the Palestinians and other Arabs who had rejected partition and initiated the fighting... Nevertheless, from the Palestinians' viewpoint, the war not only was a military defeat but, equally important, it brought the loss to Israel of yet another large portion of their homeland."

1994 - Mark Tessler, PhD